Tuna Tar-Tart

I suck at everything. Probably more than you do. I enjoy experimenting with cheese and playing with glue sticks. You might know me from that other joint, LiveJournal.

Mar 262023

Just a friendly reminder that my prince gets discharged from the military in one week. God help those around me, for I will be shrieking and sobbing my dumb face off.

I have tried to avoid any Taemin content while he’s been away but I did a mini-binge this morning and I’m finally starting to let myself get stoked! Even Henry will usually put his phone down and watch if Taemin is on TV.

Mar 252023

Yesterday was my mom’s birthday! A few weeks ago, my bro Ryan suggested taking her out to dinner, “or we could just have it in your new game room” he quickly added on, lol. I thought that would be better because it’s more casual and we’d be able to lounge around and chat for as long as we wanted without getting stink eye from the servers, like YOU PAID YOUR BILL, NOW GTFO”.

I immediately also offered to order the cake because I this is the most important task and I take my Bethel Bakery cake-ordering EXTREMELY seriously. Bethel Bakery is the Kelly Family standard, the only bakery that we trust to bake our cakes. Always and forever. So the gospel sayeth.

Since this was Ryan’s idea, I assumed that he had made our mom privy to the details, but I texted him anyway to make sure it wasn’t a surprise because I wanted to ask her what kind of food she wanted, and he was like, “Oh yeah, I mentioned it to her but that was a few week ago” and then  when I texted her a week ago about birthday hang-out food options, she was like, “When is this lol?”


She said pizza was fine so my other brother Corey said he could handle that. I gave Ryan the BEVERAGE task.

Long story short, Corey eventually settled on Jets Pizza (although there was a RANCH SITUATION where they said they were all out of their HOUSEMADE RANCH causing Corey to spiral out so they managed to make some appear for him, I don’t know, I was almost passing out from hunger at that point because I usually eat dinner at 5:30 and it was now 7:30 and excuse me if I wasn’t capable of paying attention to anything other than the sweet stench of Detroit-style cheesy carb slabs) and Ryan picked up two bottles of wine from Sheetz (yessss, Sheetz wine, lol!).

Oh! While we were waiting for Corey to arrive with the pizza, we were all hanging out in the living room and I had one of my beloved RetroWave channels playing on YouTube. Ryan was like, “Dude, I think I listen to this too….” and then I started name-dropping some of the retro wave bands like FM 84 and The Midnight and he was like, “YES, and their songs play with old scenes of 80s movies in the background, right?” and YES! I was so excited about this, knowing that my brother listens to the same stuff while working. Chooch was groaning bigtime because he hates retro wave.

You guys, it was really nice hanging out in the attic lounge, eating pizza, drinking sweet, cheap wine out of Solo cups, and telling old ass stories of our childhood.

While we were eating the pizza, I kept saying, “But seriously, didn’t some celebrity came to Pittsburgh and then became obsessed with Jets?” and no one believed me. “No, I swear, and the only reason I remember is because it’s someone I hate” (and what I left off was that I also had a Jets-boycott because of this but didn’t want Corey to know because he would panic about bringing Jets pizza into my house but that was literally like a decade ago and I truly don’t care—that much—anymore) until Henry finally googled it and announced, “It was Jay Leno.”

“YES, THAT’S IT!” I said with a snap if only I could actually snap.

“That’s….a really weird person to hate,” Ryan laughed. “Like, who hates Jay Leno?”

UM, THIS GIRL, SINCE THE 90s. And also Conan 4eva..


My mom HATES pictures but I snuck this one and I think she knew it lol.

“I ordered almond cake with raspberry filling,” I said. “I hope you like that!”

“That’s what my wedding cake was,” my mom said, with no emotion in her voice so I couldn’t really tell if this was good or bad. It turns out it was good in that she likes the flavor combo and perhaps that is the only thing that she ended up liking about her wedding lol. Hashtag Divorce.

My mom was sad because she brought treats for her grandcats but they of course hid in my room the whole time. Drew came out 5 minutes after everyone left and immediately was like, “Cool, give me some of these and thank her me.”

But yeah, it was just really nice that we got together on a day that wasn’t Christmas or whatever! I definitely want to do this more often. Ryan and I used to be so close as kids — well, let’s not go that far, we did fight a lot and there was A TON OF JEALOUSY on my end, but we were horror movie aficionados together, loved TMNT, and had a shit ton of inside jokes back then. Every time we get together as adults, I’m like, WHY DON’T WE DO THIS MORE OFTEN?

Life is so weird.

Mar 232023

My stupid phone memories started alerting me yesterday to the fact that it has been 5 years since we went to South Korea and look, I am hyper-aware of the fact that I talk about this like I am the only human being to ever travel to Korea. I get it. It’s annoying. I’m annoying. But I sincerely cannot help it because it was the greatest time of my life!

However, instead of just reposting something like I’m always so eager to do, I thought it would be fun to transcribe my vacation journal from our travel day: destination Seoul. I was re-reading it for the first time earlier today and simultaneously cracking up and seething with anger and secondhand embarrassment over Henry’s constant fuck-ups, lol. I mean, it’s funny now but I was seriously wanting to lock myself in a janitor’s closet and cry my face off that day, he was SO ANNOYING.

OK here we go:




It’s currently 6:04am and we’re sitting at our American Air gate in the pgh airport after Henry committed many blunders, starting with RIGHT AWAY going to a long-term parking lot that he claimed would be “fine” without a reservation but it was FULL. So, no Charlie Brown lot for us which is ironic because it sure felt like a Charlie Brown moment.

We ended up right down the street at the Parking Spot, where Henry failed to take a ticket despite the old man attendant’s many demands of “Please sir, if you’re parking here, you need to take a ticket and the gate will go up,” like Henry is an alien on Earth for the first time. It was so embarrassing! Henry just kept talking to him and asking him dumb questions like it was tea and crumpet time.

Finally, after deeming he now had enough knowledge of the parking lot, he had to GET OUT OF THE CAR to get a ticket since he had driven past it. Such a fucking Griswald.

Then the guy told us to park in aisle “H, as in Henry” and I was like, “That’s his name!” in my head because I knew no one would care.

You would think these instructions would be clear enough but Henry managed to overthink it. “Should I pull in BEFORE the H, or AFTER?”


“Before” – clearly.

Almost immediately, “Paul” came by with the Spotted Shuttle, and our ride in to the airport was short and uneventful.

But then it was check-in time and Henry insisted on doing self-check-in which required the assistance of an airport person TWICE. It was so cringey. And then he couldn’t even put the tag on his luggage! CHOOCH even accomplished this “difficult” task without help!

Oh, I wanted to die.

We only had to wait in security for about 30 minutes and I was like, “I need my boarding pass,” but Henry knows everything and said I didn’t so of course the TSA guy was like &^%$$. It was so stressful. This is why I hate flying.

So we had our 6th fight of the morning but I have coffee now and we ate at Brueggers so that should keep us happy for a second.

I miss Bambi so much ): —-Chooch

Henry is sitting several seats away from us, staring off into the ether. Also, I realized in Brueggers why I hate him today – HE’S NOT WEARING A HAT.

7:05am: Chooch and I just came back from a spirited walk. We pissed around in the kids zone like the children we are.

We came back and Henry was like, “Thank god” but not because he missed us; it was because he had to pee probably because he immediately got up and left. We didn’t watch his seat for him though and some broad immediately took it haha.

Now two old ladies are behind us sharing recipes loudly. “And I put in some mushroom soup and peas…” Henry’s ears are perking up. He can’t us when we’re RIGHT next to him, but he can fucking hear some old bitches one row over yapping about Good Housekeeping recipe hacks.

7:36am: We just boarded and Chooch is acting like he was raised in a mountain somewhere and this is first glimpse of civilization.

There’s an older couple in the seats behind us and the man reminds me of if Jeffrey Tamblin just came out of the woods and he is so mad because the flight attendant told him that his carryon wasn’t going to fit in the overhead compartment the way he had it positioned and his wife is all, “Dear, just put it under the seat like the nice lady said,” and five minutes later he was still bitching about how “it’s just the stupidest thing!” and his wife is all, “What’s so stupid about it? It wouldn’t fit!”

7:55am: About to take off. Couple behind us still talking about The Bag.

8:13am: We just took off and luckily I have the couple behind us distracting me. “Jeffrey” spotted their car in the extended parking lot and now his wife is loudly broadcasting the speed of the plane and the altitude, which is in meters.

“I hate meters,” Jeffrey said with contempt.

8:50am: Henry thinks he’s so cool because he’s watching some dumb Marvel movie. OK Hank.

I just asked Chooch if he wants to read this and he said no. NO?? When I was his age and journaling on vacation, my family begged to read it! BEGGED!

Wife just announced again how fast the plane is going and the altitude.

“We’re going down,” she said casually let loudly because that’s her only volume.

“You should never say ‘we’re going down,” Jeffrey scolded equally as loudly. “It’s ‘descending.'” Yeah, Wife.

Chooch just said, “You have a bald spot,” and I panicked because why? no! But he was talking to Henry, whew.

Now the couple is singing some fucking campfire song about Indiana.

“Chicago doesn’t look that big from up here,” wife just cried.

“It’s not Chicago,” Chooch and I mouthed in tandem.

She did, however, point out that crazy temple we visited last summer so that was cool.

About to land now. 0.0

I’m so glad this couple narrated the entire flight.

One flight down! Or, survived, I should say. I just wiped my clammy palm on Henry and he yelled, “That’s disgusting!” Wow, thanks for being my pillar of strength….and dishtowel.

Chooch is furiously digging through his backpack in search of his applesauce pouches that Henry ALLEGEDLY packed but he can’t find it. I told him to chill out because it’s not that big of a deal and he said, “Applesauce is AMAZING.” Now he and Henry are sniping at each other about it over top of me. IT IS LITERALLY JUST APPLESAUCE.

“It’s not JUST applesauce. It’s CINNAMON applesauce.” – Chooch.

“Abby said the toilet is overfilling. She said that at 6:50am. She said she will Facetime if she can’t figure out the car light. I don’t know how to do that,” Wife just announced behind us.

Please let us off this plane.

(PRESENT DAY ERIN HERE: luckily I still have the pictures of THE COUPLE on my phone, so here they are.)

9:35am: So we got off the plane and everything seemed to be going smoothly which is hilarious because we’re the Kelly/Robbins family. We made it to the shuttle thing that we needed to get to the international terminal and Chooch got on it just as the doors were closing, like just ran ahead of us and leapt through the closing doors and then cruised away without us! It was the scariest thing, like in a movie, watching your child just drift away. I was basically pooping my pants but Henry was laughing?!?! “I’d be worried if we had a dumb kid, but he’s pretty smart, so.” Wow OK. Anyway, there were 2 older guys on the shuttle who held up their hands and mouthed, “Terminal 5” because that’s where they were going too or so we thought. Turns out one of the guys stayed with Chooch on the platform until we got there and then he got back on the shuttle to continue on. How nice of him to get off at Terminal 5 to wait with Chooch! I asked Chooch if they talked and he said not really, lol.

And then things got all frantic again because Henry checked in online but the lady was like THESE DON’T SCAN so we had to go to the Korean Air desk and the whole experience just made me feel like we did something wrong, like she was going to say, “I’m sorry, but we don’t have seats for you, these tickets are invalid.” But everything ended up find and then we made it thru security OK except Chooch had to dig through his bag and take out all of his applesauce. (Yes, he found it, lol.) And fruit snacks! I was like, “I’m not waiting for this, bye” because all of my shit was together!

Now we’re just sitting here charging our phones and Henry got me an iced latte so I feel kind of better but just get me to Korea, honestly.

Chooch and I just pointed out that Henry has stains on his shirt and he defiantly said he doesn’t care then stormed off, maybe to buy a new shirt or set himself on fire.

“They have, um, Flaming Hot….um……I forget now,” Henry said over a mouthful of Flaming Hot Cheetohs. He adds so much to the conversation.

10:45am: Chooch is shaming Henry for eating more than the recommended serving size of Cheetohs. Guess he just wants those dad jeans to have less sag.

Also, still over an hour before we can board. Just sitting here in this boring ass food court trying to stay awake, help.

12:30pm: Had another passport crisis compliments of Henry the Dunce. But now we’re on board and preparing for take off. Chooch got cool kids headphones and Pororo coloring book. Jealous :(

Also, Henry broke his TV remote thing immediately after we got our seats.

2:44pm: Eleven hours to go! We had lunch already. Chooch got a kids meal and I got the veg. option which was some kind of curry thing and it was fine but I wish I had gotten the regular bibimbap because I could have easily just scooped out the meat, ugh. That’s what Henry ended up getting and it smelled DIVINE. I kept fanning the fumes toward my face and he let me squeeze the gochujang on it. UGH. I’m still jealous.

The flight attendants are so pretty and there’s a small kid screaming but it’s not even bothering me because….Korea.

We just got our arrival card and custom declaration. Chooch and I filled our out but Henry waved it off and said, “I have 11 hours.” OK Hank. Let’s see you fuck this up, too!

I have this crippling bathroom phobia & I’m starting to really have to pee but I’m afraid to because what if I can’t get the door open or some other unknown is waiting for me?! I asked Henry to go scope it out but he’s being ridiculous and said there are too many people over there right now. OK tough guy.

5:25PM: guys, I did it! I went to the bathroom. Henry went first and then showed me how to open the door. Also I couldn’t find where to put my paper towel so now it’s wadded-up on my lap. Alsox2, I thought I slept for a long time but it was only an hour.

7:46pm: I started watching the K-drama “This is My Love” and it has so many people in it that I know! I hope that it’s on Drama Fever (Ed.Note: RIP DramaFever) or Netflix so that I can finish it at home. I watched the first two episodes and now I think I honestly need to sleep. 6 more hours, woo! Chooch looked at the map a few minutes ago and we wee only just over Alaska?! How is Alaska that far away?! Geography stumps me every time.

12:23am: Really it’s like 2:23pm I think but my phone hasn’t switched time zones yet. ANyway, every time I started to fall asleep, HENRY would bump me or essentially just encroach on my personal space and then there were times when his headphones were so loud that I could hear it, I just stopped him from incessantly crinkling a plastic wrapper and he snapped, “God, you’re so touchy!” Well, shit, maybe if that motherfucker had let me sleep more than 15 minutes at a time!

Also, I love Korea but Korean Air’s idea of vegetarian meals is something a nursing home would feed a dying diabetic. Henry got cake with his dinner! Vegetarians can eat cake!

We have 1:36hr left on this flight. I have to pee but there’s a line and I don’t stand in no piss line, bitches. So I’m just sitting here stubbornly and making Henry turn around to tell me a line stander update. He’s not taking his job seriously.

Meanwhile, Chooch spilled about 1/4 of a cup of water on his leg and his acting like it’s acid.

7:57pm and we’re in our upgraded Hotel Atrium room because dumbass Henry only booked a room with two twin beds and then tried to argue with the guy at the desk about it. This was after he tried to get off the airport shuttle at the wrong stop and it was nearly an international disaster – the driver was super hyper about Henry’s error and Henry didn’t have the hotel address in Hangul in spite of how many times I told him that it was 100% necessary. An older man actually said, “Aisssssh!!!” (not good when a Korean says this) and started to get up to intervene but the driver was like, “no no no” and made him sit back down.

Our stop was NOWHERE near the one Henry tried to get off at, but luckily the AISSSSSH ahjussi sat behind Henry and told him he was getting off at the same stop and could help us. This was such a blessing because we’d probably still be wandering around helplessly.


And now we were officially in Korea! Many more opps for Henry to eff up! Henry’s Eff Opps!

Anyway, I’m tired of transcribing, but just know that we had more hotel mishaps that night but luckily, everything went up from there. I can’t believe it’s been FIVE YEARS.

Mar 222023

I have no original titles under my belt these days. Let’s just reminisce about the books my eyeballs drank in last month. If I remember correctly, it was a so-so reading month and some of these books I probably have nothing to say about.

  1. Everything I Know About Love – Dolly Alderton

I really loved this a lot. I pictured a British Jane Pratt throughout, it was like rolling around on a mattress papered with Sassy pages. A VIBE. My friend Sadi’s Goodreads review was “a beautiful love letter to female friendship” and I really can’t summarize it any better than that. It was entertaining and also taught me that there is a Windows hotkey that will change CAPSLOCK to lowercase and I was so excited about this that I wrote it down and then tried it at work the next day AND IT WORKED but now I’ve lost it. I cannot tell you how many times in the past I have been tippy-tap-typing away only to look up and realize I had CAPSLOCK on!!

 2. Just the Nicest Couple – Mary Kubica

Uh….I don’t remember reading this lol. I just read the synopsis a bunch of times and these names aren’t ringing any bells and the blurb is so vague. I gave this 4 stars though—but maybe I should knock it down to three since this clearly wasn’t very memorable.

3. Thank You For Listening –  Julia Whelan

Dude, I loved this and gave it five stars. In fact, as soon as I saw the cover again, I spontaneously smiled, bigly. This book was really cook because the author, Julia Whelan, is also one of my favorite audiobook narrators! And this gives some really cool insight into the audiobook narration and voice acting world. At its core, it’s a romance novel (and actually a really one too – I cringed not), but it also covered some serious issues too. The main character was a rising star, born to act, until a horrific accident (the details of which aren’t described until well into the book and it….it was unexpected) leaves her with a disability and essentially ends her acting career. The writing is snappy. The characters are full of life. This book was just so fun to read and yeah, I cried.

4. A Child Alone With Strangers – Philip Fracassi

I really want to find a horror author that I love. Please Lord, help me. This book was FINE. The writing was kind of cheesy (OK, very), it was about 200 pages longer than it should have been, and the characters felt like cardboard cutouts. The story itself was interesting but I wasn’t scared. It relied a lot on body horror and that’s just really not my thing. There was also a whole chapter involving stray dogs that I had to skip. I didn’t HATE it (I gave it 3 stars) but it’s not something I would recommend.

I will say that I only read this because the book of his that I wanted to read was just released last month and I was on the waitlist for it, so I chose this one to tide me over. DID I STILL END UP READING THE OTHER ONE? You’ll have to check back for the March wrap-up to find out, lol.

5. Tell Me I’m Worthless – Alison Rumfitt

NOW THIS WAS A GOOD HORROR BOOK. Shit, this actually chilled me.  I had this on audio and was listening to it in the attic while painting a mural on the closet door and then I would remember that I was in the attic and have to turn it off. It has pretty much every trigger warning imaginable. It has some GRAPHIC scenes. It made me feel uncomfortable, nauseated, disgusted. It was one of the best literary horror novels I have ever read. The most unique take on the haunted house trope. It delivered.

6. Mean Baby – Selma Blair

I like Selma Blair. I still say YOU ROONED IT!! instead of “ruined” because of her character in Kath & Kim, a short-lived sitcom the name of which I couldn’t even remember, but I will NEVER forget “ROONED.” I was obsessed with the old-ass WB show Zoe Duncan Jack and Jane. And obviously Cruel Intentions. But that’s about as far as I dug into her oeuvre. Yet something made me snag the audiobook of this (she narrates it) and now I can officially say that I LOVE Selma Blair and want only the best for her.

Yet somehow my main takeaway from this is that a HAWK ATTACKED HER DOG I HATE HAWKS SO MUCH.

7. Bad Cree – Jessica Johns 

This was terrible 1 star. The writing was so bad. The plot was a mess. The main character was boring AF. I wanted to LOVE this book. I really did. But I wish I could get my time back.

8. Someday, Maybe – Onyi Nwabineli

This, on the other hand, was a joy to read. OK also excruciatingly sad because the WHOLE ENTIRE BOOK is a woman trying to make sense, recover from, process, heal from her husband’s sudden and tragic death. This isn’t a spoiler, it’s literally in the blurb, but he killed himself on NYE and she is the one who found him. I know it sounds like this book probably needs to be soundtracked with a funeral dirge, but there are actually quite a few moments when I laughed out loud. It’s witty, poignant, bitterly sad, and just very memorable. I will definitely be on the lookout for more from this author.

(Also, reading this made me want to hug Henry. ‘Lil bit.)

9. Now Is Not the Time to Panic – Kevin Wilson

I really like Kevin Wilson. I didn’t love this as much as “Nothing to See Here” because the story itself just didn’t captivate me as much, but if you read this, DO NOT SKIP THE AUTHOR’S NOTE. I actually bumped this from a 3.5 to a 4 because of the author’s note.

I’ll just tell you that this about two teenagers in the 90s who become friends one summer and make some random poster, photocopy it a bunch of times, and then tape it around town. I know, what a plot, right? But …yeah, it gets weird, lol.

10. One Italian Summer – Rebecca Serle

I dunno, you guys. I had a hard time with this one. It didn’t really go anywhere? (Well, except to Italy lol.) I couldn’t relate to the main character and the grief she was experiencing because of my own weirdness with my family. The only think it succeeded in doing was putting me on an I WANT TO GO BACK TO ITALY kick. I dunno, it was fine. It would make a good airplane or beach read, I think, but was kind of not great for February at home.

11. No One Gets Out Alive – Adam Neville

Another horror novel over 600 pages! This one was way better than the Philip Fracassi one though. It actually scared me, and the violence was very well-written and so descriptive that I could EASILY picture what was happening even when perhaps I didn’t want to be able to! Again, I don’t think it was necessary for it to be this long! What is up with these giant tomes that horror novelists think that they have to write?

That being said, I need to read more from Adam Neville. I feel like back in 2020, I ordered one of his books from the library and panicked when I saw how large it was and ended up returning it because I didn’t want to have that pressure hanging over me – all of his books are probably chunkers!


OK that’s all for February!

Mar 202023

Not stoked about starting a brand new workweek, but here we are. Grinnin’ and bearin’ it! SMILE THRU IT. FAKE IT TIL YOU MAKE IT. ETC ETC.

I don’t have anything pressing to discuss on here but sometimes the sound of my fingers tapping the keyboard can be therapeutic to me, like I’m self-soothing. So, let’s pretend like we’re on a hike somewhere beautiful and I’m just yapping away and you’re nodding “mmhhhmmm” to the beat of our boots hitting the ground and probably not really even listening to me but that is OK because I live with Henry, so I am used to not being listened to.

Speaking of hiking, my latest work-related stress dream was that I was on vacation, just coming back from a hike and I guess I had stopped in the restroom of the…resort? I was staying at. I remember being SO SWEATY, my face was all red and disgusting, my eyebrows had dripped off, etc. I did not want to be seen by anyone, probably why I popped into the lobby restroom in the first place. But when I came out of the stall, one of my co-workers who has been…punting a lot of extra work my way lately, was WAITING FOR ME WITH MORE WORK. And she was like pissed off at me for being on vacation!? Also, please note that she was waiting for me INSIDE THE RESTROOM, didn’t even have the decency to wait outside!

I woke up and was SO PISSED OFF. Grrrr. I REALLY GROWLED AS I TYPED THAT!!!!!!

In other news, I am still obsessed with watching all the Ke Huy Quan awards footage. I knew that Everything Everywhere All At Once was getting a lot of attention (and deservedly so, that movie was awesome, the themes were powerful, and I laughed and CRIED so much) but then because all of that Selena/Haley bullshit beef going on a few weeks ago, I started getting all kinds of Selena-related stuff in my YouTube feed, and one of those things was this year’s SAG Awards (she was a presenter, so I guess the algorithm thought I would be interested). I wasn’t paying attention and suddenly, Oh, OK, the SAG Awards is playing in its entirety. And you know, Henry and I sat there and watched the whole fucking thing? And Ke Huy Quan pulled on this bitch’s heartstrings so much that I haven’t been able to stop watching every clip I can find of him during the press circuit for EEAAO and the award season. He is a treasure. I am so happy that he won so many best supporting actor awards for his role in this movie, especially the Oscar!


I found a good frame at Goodwill over the weekend for one of my favorite photos that I took last year! This is Chooch on the Magnum XL 200 at Cedar Point from May 2022. I knew I wanted to frame it for the attic and now it’s right where it belongs.

This wrecked copy of Girls Gone Wild has been chilling on a sidewalk in Brookline for at least a week now. Further down is the actual tape, all pulled out from the case.


Dude you guys. Somehow I got subscribed to the Pgh Reddit feed and I got an alert last Thursday that a vegan food truck was going to be slinging vegan fish sandwiches on Friday. In Lawrenceville. So Henry not only had to go to one of his least favorite areas where a bunch of his least favorite people would be crowding (vegans lol) but he also had to do this IN THE RAIN, LOL.

I was so excited though! My sign-off to group chat at work was, “HENRY WENT TO GET VEGAN FISH SANDWICHES SO NOW I NEED TO STAND AT THE DOOR AND WAIT FOR HIM LIKE HE’S A SAILOR RETURNING FROM THE SEA” and my work friends were like, “omg stop.”

Anyway, I’m sad to report that it was…just OK. Wait, let me explain. It tasted delicious. BUT. It also tasted like something I could have just made at home because it was very clearly just freezer section faux fish filets. Like, we have a bag of them in our freezer right now. And also, I added a slice of vegan cheddar to it so that really upped the taste quotient. The coleslaw was good BUT A VERY PALTRY PORTION.

The upside is that this food truck donates a portion of its proceeds to animal charity AND it’s a pay-what-you-can situation. Henry made the suggested amount because I have taught him over the years to not be a tight wad.

Chooch and his friend signed up for some bake sale a few weeks ago, which meant that Henry got stuck baking cupcakes. It made me laugh because I used to sign up for food fests all the time at work when we worked in the office and Henry would get stuck cooking or baking for that shit too. Anyway, at least Chooch and his friend, an elusive one at that and also the one that I think has been Chooch’s bff since he started high school and they worked together at McDonald’s but Chooch would never let me meet him because he is ashamed of me / scared that his friends will like me more than him because I’m the best and so fucking cool, etc etc.

Yeah, so that kid came over for the first time and was like OOOH LET’S LOOK AT ALL OF THESE PICTURES OF YOU, RILEY! and Chooch was seriously squirming. Then he was annoyed because his friend thought our house was cool and NO TEENAGER IS SUPPOSED TO THINK THIS WAY, OK.


I had to call in Henry the other day for shoe untying assistance.

“I don’t understand how you tie your shoes!” Henry cried, because he’s a little bitch, like just do what you were called in here to do and save the tears for your mommy, you know? Not only that but he was red in the face from the grueling task of navigating the labyrinthine knot I had absentmindedly created with the lace. And I’ll tell you how: I was 100% reading something on phone instead of paying attention to which part of the lace I was tugging, IT HAPPENS OH WELL.

“I guess I just don’t understand how knots work,” I said in my best babydoll voice, shrugging innocently.

Not much else is going on but next weekend is pretty stacked (well, I have one social engagement for all three days, and that is an Erin R. Kelly definition of “stacked” considering I’m essentially a shut-in) so things are starting to pick up now that spring is officially here! My motivation is rising! My desire to leave the house has increased! I have a small block of stress knocked off my shoulders since today was MOVING DAY for the scream queens next door (god help us for what will move in next though)! I want to say things are looking up, but I know better than to tempt fate.

So for now, I will pretend that we have reached the apex of our hike or whatever it was that I told you to imagine we were doing and now we are on our way back down so it’s your turn to tell me things. Go ahead. JK IT’S TIME FOR ME TO LISTEN TO AN AUDIOBOOK LOL LEOS ARE THE WORST.

Mar 192023

As usual, I have been putting off recapping the Kang Daniel show because it was such a perfect evening, and I don’t want that feeling to end!

Let me back up, a bit. When my friend Veronica sent me the announcement of Kang Daniel’s very first North American tour, I think this was back in December, I felt a knee-jerk reaction to buy tickets. Especially when I saw that there was a Toronto date. I don’t want to pretend that I am a huge KD stan, but he was my favorite member of WannaOne and I have always checked out each one of his solo comebacks. He is one of those rare idols with enough talent and charisma to successfully transition from a group to a solo artist. Plus, one of the more recent songs he released in 2020 (“Upside Down”) was one of my absolute favorite songs of the year and will always fondly associate it with driving to and from Six Flags New England last Memorial Day Weekend, when I made Henry and Chooch listen to it approx. 187 times.

I thought for sure Henry would be against this, but when he saw how reasonable the tickets were (GA standing room/floor tickets were around $40!!) he agreed. Plus, excuse to go to Toronto! (Which, in hindsight….lol.) And even Henry was pretty well-versed in KA’s discography.

After seeing the long line outside of the venue, I was convinced that we would be relegated to the very back of the theater, but I managed to immediately nab a spot in the second row from the stage, off to the side (my comfort zone, ha!). Henry stood with me long enough to take the above selfie and then resumed to wall-leaning.  He was mad because he originally had the spot next to that barricade, but when I called him over for the selfie, the guy in the brown jacket usurped his prime location. Cry about it, Henry.

Around 8pm, an announcement came on that started out with “Ladies and Gentlemen, the Danforth would like to apologize…” and immediately I thought for sure the show was canceled for some reason, but no, they were just having some minor technical difficulties and within 20 minutes of the announcement, the lights went out and we were treated with pure professional artistry for the next 90 minutes. When I say I entered this theater as a casual fan and left as a hardcore Danity (the name of his fans), I’m not exaggerating. I didn’t realize how much I needed this night, and how much I had already really loved his songs! I knew 90% of what he performed but it was next level. Henry and I both have been a DEEP Kang Daniel dive since seeing him.

The dancer to the left is the one we saw outside of the venue that I thought could have easily been mistaken for an idol, or at the very least, a chaebol villain from a k-drama!

First of all, his live vocals are incredible. His energy is palpable. And his personality is OFF THE CHARTS. His ability to carry an entire concert on his own really speaks volumes for his charisma and talent. I LOVED when he talked to us in between songs and his fan service was next level – someone held up a sign asking him to draw their next tattoo and he jumped off stage, took the paper from them, and drew a cat. WHAT A LUCKY FAN!! He also recognized someone in the crowd that he had run into the night before at a PC bang (game room) and the exchange was just…so pure.

Another thing to note about Kang Daniel is that he is wildly popular in South Korea. There is a reason that he was the top winner in the elimination show Produce 101 – he really has it all going for him. I mean, that was only like 5 or 6 years ago and he’s since gone on to cultivate a successful solo career and he’s the CEO of his own agency.

You guys. Get on the Kang Daniel train. He’s amazing.

^^^ This is the aforementioned song that I played 187 times in the car on the way to Six Flags. It just got me so hyped! I am so happy that I go to see him perform it live!

I know, no one cares about videos people record at concerts because the quality is shit but I like to get 60 second clips of my favorite songs so I can pull it up on my phone and watch when I need to relive amazing moments. I’m pretty sure the girl behind me recorded the whole entire show because at times it felt like she was actually using my head as tripod, lol. Yet somehow she wasn’t bothering me at all. No one around me bothered me. It was a chill crowd. We were there to shower Kang Daniel with love, not be assholes to one another. I couldn’t have asked for a better concert experience, sincerely.

YOU GUYS CAN YOU SPOT HENRY?? LOL it kills me that he always ends up in these concert photos but I never do. If you look all the way to the left and see the red arm in the air with the black girl next to it? I was RIGHT NEXT to her. Of fucking course I’d get cut out! That’s the theme of my life!

Speaking of Henry, here is his favorite Kang Daniel – sometimes I hear him singing it under his breath and it makes me uncomfy but even worse is when he does his weird wavy arm dance to it. Chooch flipped out the other night when he accidentally witnessed this and demanded that he never do it again lol.

I had so much adrenaline flowing by the time we walked back to the car. It was like the previous frustrations had been wiped from my memory and replaced with Kang Daniel’s sultry pipes.

Oh one more! Here is the tour’s namesake, Parade (I guess I’ll use his live performance that was filmed for Kelly Clarkson because I feel like anytime a Korean artist is on an American talk show, it immediately increases their validity (sigh)):


Mar 172023

I was so nervous about getting into line for the Kang Daniel show because we were general admission / floor and the line was already long. I’m glad we ended up eating a small meal beforehand because the energy was needed!

(Also, the font somehow keeps changing on me so please enjoy. Maybe I should also change the color as I go along too, throwback to LiveJournal circa 2001. Add a MIDI file to the background.)

The line snaked all the way down the block and was just started to round a corner by the time we reached the end. And then it proceeded to grow longer and longer as we waited for 7pm to roll on up. Everyone in line was very chill and it wouldn’t have been so bad if it hadn’t been SO FUCKING COLD. I was so unprepared, even after checking the weather before leaving Pgh, where we had been enjoying False Spring. Mary, I was wearing a denim jacket and Vans with whatever the next step up from PEDS is. I was icing over, practically. Shivering so hard that my body vibrato was visible to all who looked at me.

A gallant man, had he been my boyfriend, would have maybe wrapped one MAYBE TWO arms around me to help warm me up a bit. Not my gentleman friend! Nope nope nope, gotta stay chaste and platonic-appearing. Armspan apart. Really how did we not break up on this overnighter?!

Shortly after getting into line, a girl walked up to us and asked, “ARE YOU HERE FOR KANG DANIEL?” I said yes and she handed me a little packet of photocards. Then she asked Henry and tucked one into his hand too, I was dying lol. He never gets kpop swag!

Anyway, this was really cool because in addition to the Kang Daniel photocard that had the tour info on the back as a keepsake (this was awesome to have especially since you can’t really get physical concert tickets for most shows anymore and SOME OF US ARE PACKRATS who keep boxes of paper mementos but OK), each packet also contained a photocard of one of Kang Daniel’s dancers!

Mine was Taehee, and Henry got Kyujin who apparently was replaced on the tour with LilDae after Kyujin switched to the role of “performance director” instead. Here’s what the back of the cards said:

Isn’t that the cutest idea?? I definitely tagged Taehee in one of the reels I posted that night, lol. I love shit like this.

Meanwhile, there was a single white guy in front of us. I’ll guestimate that he was in his early 30s perhaps. Almost immediately after getting into line right before us, an Asian girl (based on context clues from their convo, I think she was Chinese) turned to him and ask, “Excuse me, can I ask you a question? So, what brought you here tonight?”

The man said that Kang Daniel was actually recommended to him on Spotify recently and he really liked what he heard. I wasn’t TRYING to spy on their convo, but they were legit right in front of me and it’s not like Henry was entertaining me at all. From what I pieced together, his wife is Korean (?? I think ??) and he is no stranger to kpop. He seemed to lean more toward the girl groups though, while his standing-in-line partner was really into older kpop and mostly boy groups. I was happy to hear her say that she didn’t care much for BTS aside from two songs (“Save Me” – same girl, and “Fake Love”) and that she only started to listen to Kang Daniel the day before, having just a bought a ticket based on the fact that she didn’t want to miss out on any concerts anymore after Covid. Valid!

I kept looking at the poeple sitting inside the Tim Horton’s next to me as a means to stop eavesdropping, but then I was just getting mad because they all looked so warm and cozy with their hot bevvies and donuts.

It was so cold, yo. Plus, Toronto had recently had a snow storm (I originally typed “stormstorm,” please book my brain a room in a detox resort ASAP) that weekend so there were random snowbanks along the sidewalk which just made it seem even colder.

I was not a fan of this.

The line still hadn’t moved after a good 30 minutes, even though it was nearly 7pm by then. The girl in front of us had dropped her Kang Daniel packet so I picked it up and handed it to her. Now she was aware of my existence.

“Excuse me, can I ask you a question?” she started and I was so excited that someone was finally talking to me! I said SURE with probably definitely way too much zeal, to which of course she asked me what brought me there.

I told her in great detail that I had been a fan of Wanna One. “Who was your top pick?” she asked, and I said, “Well, I didn’t watch Produce 101 (the elimination show that Wanna One was born from) but out of Wanna One, Kang Daniel.”

Then she started asking me all of the “Do you know….” questions and luckily I am DEEP IN THE GAME so I was able to yes to everything. She asked if I was going to be going to any other upcoming concerts and I gushed, “OMG NCT DREAM I HOPE!! IF I CAN GET A TICKET!!”

She smiled calmly and said, “Oh, you will you get your ticket, don’t worry!” AND MAYBE SHE IS THE REASON I DID – IS SHE MY KPOP GODMOTHER?? So then we talked about NCT and she asked who my top pick is for that and that’s when I realized she was saying “pick” instead of bias – I never heard that before but I liked it! It made me feel like we were talking about sports, lol.

I told her Ten is my top pick across the whole NCT universe and she exclaimed, “REALLY?” like it was shocking for some reason, but it also made me feel like she was acknowledging the fact that I actually do know my NCTshit, and also I think it’s assumed maybe that most non-Asians tend to pick Korean members as their biases, but two of my top NCT picks are Chinese and Thai.

“Do you like SHINee?” I asked her and she said yes so we started talking about them, Taemin, and SuperM, which she didn’t get to see.

“But it’s OK because Baekhyun is my top pick and I got to see him with EXO,” she said, and that made me happy for her.

Meanwhile, the white guy kept occasionally joining in too because he was interested in the fact that Henry and I came from Pittsburgh for this show. “And you like him too?” one of them asked Henry and GUESS WHAT HE SAID YES.

Then the occasional person would stop and ask our general vicinity of the line what everyone was waiting for and then would say WOW I HAVE NEVER SEEN A LINE THIS LONG FOR THIS VENUE or something else to that effect. The power of kpop, you guys. Kang Daniel probably could have managed to play a bigger venue, honestly!

Now the line was moving but I wasn’t ready to stop talking so I blurted out, “ACTUALLY, MY ALL TIME TOP PICK IS G-DRAGON!”

I fucking swear to god, this girl turned around, looked me up and down with a smirk and said, “Of course he is.”


And then she said, “But….actually, I feel sorry for you—” and yo, she didn’t even need to finish that statement because I feel sorry for me too and all BIGBANG fans out there. It is literally the most depressing fandom to be a part of.

By now, the line was moving swiftly, and we got through security quickly and without incident. When we were waiting for our turn though, a VERY ATTRACTIVE Korean guy in a super cool white satin baseball-type of jacket with cool embroidering on the back came out of the venue and was talking to a girl in Korean. I was like, “WHO IS THIS GUY, HE LOOKS LIKE HE COULD BE AN IDOL” and we found out once the show started that he was one of the dancers – I WISH I HAD GOTTEN HIS CARD, OMG HE WAS SO CUTE.

Anyway. *clears throat*

It was really nice talking to these people in line – I love kpop fans. All those other concerts I used to stand in line for and most people were either too cool for school or just total assholes that I didn’t want to talk to anyway. But people at kpop concerts are so nice. I will say that way less people in my life give me shit for liking kpop these days as they did in the beginning, but it is still so very comforting to be surrounded by all these people who share your love for Korea and its music. Just this moment alone was enough to turn the whole day around, and I knew that once we got inside, it was destined to get even better.

Mar 152023

Today was one of the least annoying days I’ve had in a bit. Too lazy to blog for real but I will give you a little succinct update spotlighting the two points of good news:

  1. After chooch got his MRI on Monday, the results were emailed to us and of course Henry and I were googling “how to become an orthopedic doctor in 5 minutes.” The results seemed…not great? I saw things like TEAR and DEEP FISSURE and EDEMA and other things that sounded like fancy ways to expand the syllables of OUCH. But today the surgeon called after reviewing and his explanation was basically BAD BONE BRUISE. I did not know that was a thing but I googled it and it sounds like a not great thing. But!! The upside is that he thinks it should heal on its own and recommends that Chooch continue to wear the brace for another 4 weeks and he’ll have a follow-up appointment at the end of March too. My big question for doc is WHEN CAN HE RIDE ROLLERCOASTERS AGAIN? Now? Is it now? Hmm? Did you say NOW??
  2. Tickets for the Cure’s North American tour went on sale today. The verified fan thing was pretty messy but I did get us two seats and those two tickets combined still cost less than half of what I paid for one ticket to NCT Dream and even lesser than NCT 127 but let’s not talk about that. Let’s just be thankful that I got two reasonably priced tickets to see my favorite band of all time even though they said that their 2000 tour was going to be the last one and here we are, 23 years later and this will be my…7th time to see them? Don’t make me count. It’s relax-y time. Kara checked in with me today to make sure I was alive and more importantly, obtained tickets. Happy to confirm!

I told Henry I should find someone to take with me, someone who might actually propose to me. I think he said, “go ahead” which harkened back to the time I briefly dated this guy Erik and then some random guy named … Kevin? I dunno his name, I had literally just met him at a gas station and invited him over to party lol. Ok so Kevin asked Erik if he could have me and Erik said BE MY GUEST.

The best/worst part is that I have this on VIDEO somewhere.

I’m writing this in bed and have to go now because the man who won’t marry me is snoring and I need to lodge my knee firmly into his ass.

Ending yet another blog post apropos of nothing, we are.

Mar 142023

I am going to see NCT Dream in Chicago, you guys! I did the whole Ticketmaster Hunger Game Fiery Hoop Jump Blood of My First Born bullshit exercise on Friday and managed to get an ok seat, I’m happy. For this tour, the floor is standing room only and I am not too proud to admit that I am no longer flirting with a season of life that sees me comfortably enduring a sit-in outside of an arena for god only knows how long in order to get a good spot by the stage and then stand with wobbly legs while being pushed and shoved all night, praying I don’t become involved in some catastrophic crowd crush. Sorry, but concerts scare me now.

I don’t want to die for ANY band.

So I got a seat in the very front row of a lower level section and I will be content, I will go and scream and leak a mixture of joyous and crazed tears. I will swoon over Renjun and Haechan. I will wave my NCT lightstick. I will be the best 43-year-old czennie that NCT ever saw.

I bought these patches a few mths ago and never did anything with them so I felt inspired to buy a new pair of Vans over the weekend to put them on. They’re not glued down yet but this picture is as good an example of any how it will look! And I bought myself a new shirt to wear too. I asked Chooch to make me NCT barrettes or a headband with his 3D printer but he wants no part of this.

You guys though – it took me hours to calm down on Friday after the ticketing ordeal before I could finally let myself be happy. Please someone save us from Ticketmaster. I was so stressed on Friday that Nate tried to prevent another coworker from adding me to group chat, knowing she would likely compound my anxiety but she still did it anyway and I accepted out of reflex but then didn’t participate because I was numb to everything that day. Literally I could have stress-ate an entire box of donuts if someone would have presented them to me that day. So pathetic.

I’m so stressed out about Chooch’s knee (MRI was yesterday, should know something tomorrow), work, life, neighbor situations – things like this are a privilege, a respite for my sanity, a rare opportunity to experience joy these days, and I’m so grateful.

Anyway, this has been my OMFG NCT DREAM FINALLY Interlude!! Now I just need to convince Henry to buy himself a cheap nosebleed seat!

Mar 132023

OK my post titles get dumber and dumber. You can agree, it’s fine.

Last week’s overnighter in Toronto was so chaotic and disjointed. Truly, the only really good, pure, magical moment was the Kang Daniel concert so I’m going to save that for last. Considering that this was the sole reason for the trip, this was the only thing that really needed to be EXCELLENT, and the rest was just extra. So for now, I’ll recap the things we ate on Wednesday before coming back to Pittsburgh, leaving out the sidewalk bickering, bleeding blister from so much walking, etc. etc. I really don’t know what my fucking problem was aside from the fact that I was so offended that Henry doesn’t pay attention to what I tell him! HE SINGLE-HANDEDLY GOT EVERYTHING WRONG, BOTH DAYS. HOW DOES THAT HAPPEN? OH, BECAUSE SOMEONE DOESN’T LISTEN.

There was a vegan Japanese bakery that I wanted to go to for breakfast, and a cafe that we were supposed to have gone to the day before but Henry is LE DUMBZ0RZ so we were supposed to go to these places on Wednesday. Breakfast at the Japanese place, then coffee, then head over to a vegan bakery to take some stuffz home.

LONG STORY SHORT: Henry thought we were only going to the cafe, had us take a subway, transfer, and then walk a million blocks to the wrong place and this is where I once again proceeded to walk far ahead of him because I feared that if we walked together, I might push him in front of a streetcar and I am much too delicate to go to prison.

So: lots of anger. This is what you missed from me last Wednesday morning.


Anyway, this went on and on and on until we ended up in Chinatown and walked past a place called TRUE BREAKFAST which I found out later has all one star ratings on Yelp (FWIW, there are only 5 ratings and it only just opened, so…) and maybe that’s so but it will always live on in my heart as the place with the toast that saved our relationship, lol.

I had black sesame, and Henry had coconut cream. Aside from a guy who came in after us and ordered takeout, and two UberEats pickups, we were the only people dining in and it took an absurdly long time for our toast to be made, which was confounding to me because….toast. But still, it was delicious. I love Asian breads so much. I believe this place was specifically Taiwanese.

I was OK after this, almost for our entire walk back to where we parked in Koreatown. The whole reason we parked there was because there were several shops I like that I wanted to hit up before we left, but nothing was open yet! One of the shops opened literally in like 4 minutes, but I was already back IN A MOOD so I stormed off and said LET’S JUST LEAVE WHERE ARE YOU GOING WHY CAN’T YOU JUST DRIVE TO THE CAFE I WANTED TO GO TO NEVER MIND JUST GO HOME WOW I CAN’T BELIEVE WE’RE JUST GOING TO LEAVE YOU RUINED THIS WHOLE TRIP I HATE TORONTO I NEVER WANT TO COME BACK.

And then Henry found a parking spot literally right around the corner from Milky’s, the cafe on my list, so I was momentarily satiated.

Was it worth it? I mean, the maple latte was really fucking good and the barista was super cute and I watched a sweet old lady happily buy a chocolate chip cookie there with a handful of change, so yeah – it was nice.

It doesn’t matter if Henry liked it.

By now, I was a lot calmer having had food AND caffeine. Having a boyfriend who listens to me (and maybe proposes after less than 21 years) would have done a lot to improve my mood too but WE CAN’T HAVE IT ALL.

Next, we stopped in the Kensington Market area to go to Bunner’s, a vegan bakery that I have wanted to go to for quite some time now. I had mentioned it approx. 87 times to Henry prior to even leaving our house last week but for some reason, his failure to hear me had him completely eradicating Bunner’s from the itinerary both days. Every time I reminded him of its existence, he acted like it was the first time hearing about it.

Listen, Pedro – it’s like, we crossed the border and suddenly Henry was a champion abuser of gas lamps. He was driving me absolutely insane. He was drawing me closer and closer to the edge with every second I was near him in Toronto

Henry IS the yellow wallpaper.

But finally, Bunner’s! The girl working that day was really chill and didn’t make us feel rushed or unwelcome which, I’m sorry, is something that we tend to encounter quite frequently in vegan establishments. I specifically wanted to come here because after all the previous times we have been to Canada, I had NEVER heard of Nanaimo bars until recently. It’s apparently like the national treat of Canada! And Bunner’s has a vegan version!

We got 2 of those, a cookie (I will admit that the cookie was just OK), some chocolate overkill cupcake and a carrot cake cupcake for Chooch. I think that’s all we got? Henry and I shared one of the Nanaimo bars in the car and GOOD LORD, I’m an official stan. If we have another pie party, Henry is making a tray of these bitches.

Here’s what they look like from Bunner’s:

Nanaimo Bar

I want one right now.

Then we walked around and I got that clown masterpiece that I posted about the other day.

A few weeks ago, we had watched some vlog on YouTube where this couple went to a donut shop in St. Catherine’s and their reaction to every donut was a very serious exultation of THAT’S FUCKED UP. Henry and I couldn’t tell if that was good or bad? Turns out, once their eyes rolled back to the front and they stopped making gaping fish faces, it meant that these were the best vegan donuts that they ever had. So the day before, we ordered several to pick up on our way home.


The donut shop is called Beechwood Donuts.

I spotted this place across the street though and made the unilateral decision that we needed to get an empanada to go because all we had had that day was SUGAR and I needed something substantial. Um, I got a vegan one and Henry got RANDOM MEAT and we both agreed that these were like the sleeper hit of the trip. Maybe it was just because our bodies were starved for something without sugar, who knows. But yeah, I immediately wished that I had ordered two.

Planning his next gas lighting attempt.

In the actual picture, he’s smiling, but I adjusted the live version and stopped it on a frame where he looked the worst :)

The donuts! I took this once we got home and dug into them with Chooch. They were….not fucked up. But decent. The matcha blueberry and carrot cake fritter were my faves. Oh and the raspberry cronut was also delectable, but nothing that made me wish I lived in St. Catherines and I don’t even think I would make the slight detour the next time we’re heading to Toronto. It takes A LOT to impress me when it comes to donuts! I’m mostly just a classic sugar or glazed gal, anyway.

The only other notable thing that happened on Wednesday was when we stopped at a Tim Hortons on our way to pick up the donuts, I was waiting for Henry to use the bathroom when two teenaged boys approached me. Immediately, my guard went up because I am always prepared for the worst when it comes to kids. ARE THEY GOING TO MAKE FUN OF ME? ARE THEY GOING TO PICKPOCKET ME?


These are all concerns.

But it was none of these. They wanted to know if I knew “Super Fan” who it turns out is apparently the Raptors #1 fan, has gone to every game since the 90s. And of course I don’t know who he is, I am American, I don’t know of these Canadian pop culture icons, let alone any person associated with basketball in general. They showed me his picture like this was going to help jog my m’aam-ish mind.

I still didn’t know who the hell they were talking about, but they were really excited because apparently he was in Tim Horton’s the day before and they got to meet him. I guess they just wanted to share this excitement with someone but I wouldn’t be lying if I didn’t suspect that they were planting some sort of graffiti crime evidence on me or taping a FAT GIRL sign to my back.

Henry came out of the bathroom and gave me an OK STOP TALKING TO YOUNG BOYS AND GET IN THE CAR smirk.

“Congratulations on meeting him,” I said as Henry whisked me away.

“They were in the bathroom when I went in,” Henry said. “One of them had hand sanitizer in his eye and the other was trying to help him rinse it out,” he laughed.

This checked out because when I first saw them on my way out of the bathroom, they were at the counter giving a hand sanitizer bottle some hearty pumps while one of them was exclaiming, “I hate germs!”

It was an eventful pee/coffee break.

Anyway, this is the guy they were talking about – I guess he really is a local celeb:

'I'm living a dream': Raptors victory parade takes over Toronto | CBC News

Mar 122023

My liveblog was so janky from the day we were in Toronto and some of the stuff I had written didn’t post because of service issues and I truthfully was so annoyed that I didn’t feel like even attempting to retype what I had lost. But basically what happened was that we were supposed to have a decent chunk of time Tuesday afternoon to visit at least 2 places on my TO DO LIST (a cafe and a bakery – v. important places). I even made sure to pick two that were in the same area so that we could easily to hit up both. But then we ended up getting in a bit later than I anticipated, and the hotel that Henry had booked was actually a little bit PAST Toronto proper, so that took even more time away. Then we had to check-in, Henry had to answer WORK TEXTS which is my LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT HENRY’S JOB, like he is not a fucking hedge fund guy, you know? There is no reason he should be getting work texts on his day off, ESPECIALLY WHEN HE IS EVEN OUT OF THE COUNTRY.

So immediately, my mood soured. It flipped a switch in my brain and I went from being rearin’ to go to itchin’ for a fight. So I became super disagreeable. Literally kept flinging myself facedown on the bed and screaming JUST FORGET IT. So this was about an hour of that. What it also boiled down to is that I needed caffeine and sugar. Bigly.

Finally, Henry got me to put my coat on and we set off for the Danforth Music Hall, because Henry’s plan was to park there and take the subway to the cafe/bakery destination. So we did this with little conflict, but then I panicked because it was only 4:00 and there was already a line of people outside of the theater. Our tickets were general admission / floor but I am really just all out endurance when it comes to camping out to get a good spot, so I basically at that point had resigned to the idea of being way in the back, unable to see.

Anyway! The lot we parked in was right next to the subway station so that was nice. Except that Henry parked in a spot that had a HUGE puddle on my side so I couldn’t get out, which caused me to have ANOTHER emotional breakdown and start crying, “I JUST WANT TO GO HOME” and he calmly said, “Let me just pull up and you can get out” and after a bunch of resistance, I finally let him do this so that I could get out of the car without stepping in the puddle.

Then we got on the subway, which was fine. I am OK with the subways in Toronto. But  what Henry didn’t tell me was that we would then have to get on the STREETCAR and after we had a weird experience the first time we used one of those (the driver yelled at us because we didn’t pay correctly or something, I can’t remember but it was embarrassing and I felt like I was in school getting yelled at by a teacher in front of the class and it was humiliating and clearly something that has squatted in my mind ever since). So we got on one that was still idling outside the station, waiting for the departure time, and some guy was sitting in the back loudly screaming about people looking at him or something and then he was calling someone the f-word and it was soooo uncomfortable. Meanwhile, the whole time I was like, “WERE WE SUPPOSE DTO PAY FOR THIS FIRST??” and Henry was like, “No one else did” but then I saw a guy come on and tap his card and I started to SWEAT.

“Maybe we’re supposed to pay when we get off,” Henry said, clearly not worried about this at all, while I sat there scrutinizing every single person that walked on. And then once we started moving, I paid close attention  to everyone who was getting off and still couldn’t tell if we were supposed to tap our card somewhere and also how did we request a stop!?!? I was DYING. Legit wringing my hands. Suffocating on my anxiety. Pubtrans seriously makes me so nervous (EXCEPT FOR THE SEOUL SUBWAY).

Oh, and then!! I realized that at this point, it was 4:50 and BOTH PLACES I WANTED TO GO TO CLOSED AT 5.

“Let’s just get off here, there are plenty of other places around that we could go to,” Henry said at one point when the street car slammed to a stop at a red light and the doors opened. I cannot compute such impromptu instructions so my head was SPINNING as Henry leapt out of his seat and practically swan-dove out the door, and then JUMPED OVER A SNOW BANK to the sidewalk. I ran after him, looking like a thief probably, like, “HEY THAT GIRL JUST SKIPPED OUT ON THE FARE!” literally I was waiting for the driver to come running out looking like Chris Farley in Billy Madison, hollering about calling the Mounties on me.

None of these things happened, but the street car was still sitting there because of the redlight and I just felt EVERYONE WAS STARING AT US so I FREAKED OUT AND LEFT HENRY. I just turned and started powerwalking in the opposite direction, away from the sreetcar and where we apparently needed to cross the street, and proceeded to WALK ALL THE BACK  TO THE SUBWAY STATION WHERE WE GOT ON THE STREET CAR.

It really wasn’t that far. Maybe a 25-minute walk. Henry trailed behind me the entire way, I refused to let him catch up with me. He kept trying to ask me what was wrong and I cried, “THE WAY YOU JUMPED OUT OF THE STREET CAR LIKE A PETTY CRIMINAL WAS SO EMBARRASSING” and he was like, “The fuck are you talking about?” and OK, now that we’re a week away from the INCIDENT, I am rational enough to admit that perhaps my mind, reeling from lack of essential nutrients (yes, caffeine and sugarssss) perhaps was replaying this scene to me in blown-up proportions best reserved for balloons in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

I can be honest with you about that. Perhaps it was me, sabotaging this entire day because I am being eating alive by stress in all other areas of my life and God forbid I should allow myself to calm down, relax, enjoy myself.

Anyway. We took the subway BACK to the street where the Danforth is located, and I had SORT OF calmed down a little bit by then but was still craving things. I had really just wanted a coffee and baked good, but then we started to walk past a vegan chain called Fresh which I knew a bit about, and I saw CAKES in the window, so I said, “Let’s just go here.”

For some reason, I didn’t realize this was a sit-down and order type of place. I thought it was more of a Panera, but no – as soon as we walked in, we had to wait to be seated and I fought the urge to turn around and leave because Henry HATES it when I do that even though I point out that people do it all the time and just because I walk inside somewhere, doesn’t mean I’m stripped of my right to change my mind!?!??! (Granted, I have also down this after being seated and ordering drinks, so I can see how he would be feeling some type of way every time we enter a restaurant lol.)

I basically willed my mind to just shut down and allowed myself to go with the flow. That’s sad right? That I have to use mind-control on myself to just follow a host to a table? Oh, to be a normal functioning human. What does that feel like!? I guess I could just ask Henry.

RIGHT AWAY, I had to fight another urge to flee because Henry, and I can’t believe he did this, took the seat at the table that was on the banquette side, leaving me to sit in the regular chair with my back exposed to the foot traffic of the restaurant.


Oh, I was furious. I think our server could tell too, and I was trying so hard to make friendly eye contact and smile naturally every time I interacted with them.

Now, instead of just getting a dessert, I felt obliged to order actual food. I suggested that we just get an appetizer to share and Henry, knowing he was on THIN ICE, LIKE WE’RE TALKING COMMUNION WAFER-THIN HERE, quickly sputtered, “Whatever you want!”

We agreed on the dumplings, but when the server came back, I said to them with the most confidence I have spoken with in months probably, “We’ll have the ONION RINGS” and then I shot Henry a tight-lipped smile across the table. His expression was priceless. He let out a silent “You bitch” laugh and then said, “Oh, OK. And I guess I will also order the dumplings.”

Can I just say that those were the best fucking onion rings I have ever had in my life? They had QUINOA in the batter and were sooo crispy and totally perfect. We are both still talking about them!

The dumplings were fine.

Food aside, it was one of the most awkward dining experiences I have had in a while. First of all, the staff was CHAOTIC. So many different people were flitting about but there weren’t that many diners, and then everyone seemed like they kept distracted. It was like being in a restaurant run by Sims. Every time our server would come to check on us, they would ask us something and then start looking all around the restaurant, over their shoulder, anywhere but at us, while we were talking and it felt like every since interaction ended on a cliffhanger. I felt I had whiplash. The food came out super fast, but the service was sooo strange and disjointed. Couldn’t be more impersonal unless I, Erin Rachelle Kelly, was every server.

Secondly, some guy was dining alone right next to us and I had to face him since Henry took the seat I wanted. I think he might have been waiting for someone and then ended up ordering for himself once he realized he had been stood up, because he was already seated when he got there and didn’t order until much after we did, because he was looking at his phone the whole time. He ordered this big nacho plate which looked and smelled amazing, and then afterward, he got a huge hunk of chocolate cake which also looked like something I could easily demolish on my own, probably while crying.

I wanted to also get a slice of cake, but was starting to panic about getting in line for the concert so we opted on getting a chocolate chip cookie to go. Henry didn’t like it but I thought it was fine.

Those onion rings really saved the day, though. That and the candied ginger that came speared on a toothpick with Henry’s housemade ginger ale, which I immediately plucked from his glass and popped straight into my mouth while he watched with mouth agape. I was such a fucking bitch on this day, moreso than I typically am. (I know, I know, so many people who know me IRL think I AM SO NICE, SO SWEET but Henry knows the real Erin, the one who grew up being called Sybil by her family. SMILEY FACE.)

I would like to go back to Fresh for a full meal COMPLETE WITH CAKE but probably in a different location where it hopefully won’t feel like the entire kitchen staff is going to self-implode around me. My chai tea and onion rings helped right the wrongs of the day, rewire my sizzling brain, and get me in READY MODE for the Kang Daniel show. Who knew adding quinoa to onion rings could be such a game changer?!?!?

Mar 102023

Last Saturday, I finally invited some peeps over to eat pizza and chill in the attic/game room/lounge/ WHAT SHOULD I CALL THIS ROOM. Chooch has basically rejected it so I guess it’s mine now and I can call it whatever I want! But no, please help me.

Anyway, Corey and Janna came over AND THEN WE HAD EXTRA SPECIAL GUESTS: CHRONICA!! Do you guys know how long it’s been since I have hung out with them? Definitely since before the pandy.

I shouldn’t have called it that. Why did I call it that.

Anyway, we ate so-so pizza (from fucking ANTONIO’S – I should have went with my gut and stuck with my ride-or-die Giovanni), talked x 100, and then played some trivia game. Well, everyone played the game but me because only 6 could play (according to Chooch) and I didn’t feel like it anyway SO THERE. Instead, I fucked around with my Party!Party! app, literally the only good thing that those A Beautiful Mess bitches ever produced.

So please, be enjoying some pictures of people in my [ATTIC TBD ROOM]!

First of all, it was delivered at less than room temp. It was NOT GOOD.

Henry has suddenly decided he wants to drink wine and bought a bunch of super sweet candy wine which is kind of cute because you know, Henry looks like he should be drinking port out of a tin can.


That trivia game was hilarious from a spectator’s POV. Janna had to read the questions for Chooch’s turns and he was getting SO MAD at her for not doing it fast enough. At one point, Janna cried, “OK YOU GUYS! I ACTUALLY AM SMART, YOU KNOW!”

Corey was waiting all week for this shot lol.

Chooch looking surly either because Janna was reading the questions or because his gimp knee had him trapped up there with a bunch of mildly-blitzed adults. OH DID I FORGET TO TELL YOU THAT CHRONICA BROUGHT POST MALONE WINE?!

Henry couldn’t see the card every time it was his turn to read the questions to Janna because I refused to turn the overhead light on (IT WOULD KILL THE MOOD). During one of the final rounds, Janna was prepared and held the flashlight of her phone over the card for him. She did it with such a heavy sigh, too!

One of my favorite parts of the night was when Janna calmly said, “My sister had a baby last week…..it’s NOT cute.” Classic Janna!

What a perfectly chaotic evening!!! We gotta do this again.

Here’s our Party!Party! reel lol:

Mar 092023

I have so many things to say about Toronto (THE GOOD THE BAD THE UGLY CRYING AT THE KPOP CONCERT) but I am still recovering because that’s what it is like when you road-trip in your 40s, I guess.

Also, my back fucking hurts, man. I can’t remember the last time it didn’t, though.

Ok so instead of doing a full recap right now, or writing about last weekend’s pizza party which I just realized I had forgotten about already because I guess that is also what it’s like to be in your 40s.

Before we left Toronto yesterday, we made a quick stop to Kensington Market for vegan baked goods but then also walked around a bit because we needed to find a toy-snack for Chooch (literally his response any time we ask if he wants something). There was some store with an array of goods from local vendors and at a glance I thought it was going to be your standard artisan soap bullshit but it was actually a pretty wide selection of stuff, some might even say SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE.

It was on the way to the register that I saw it.

I screamed.

I BET IT IS LIKE $7383!!! I said to myself.


I grabbed it with a tender touch and carried it gently over to Henry.

“I want it,” I hissed.

He gave me that disappointed frown-smirk mash-up that I hate so much.

“It’s only like $20USD!!”

Yeah I know – I couldn’t believe it was that cheap either!! Skull Studio is really underselling themselves.

Anyway, look who came home with me!!!

I need Henry to make me a small floating shelf over in Clown Corner for this babe. What should I name him?? I’m getting big Charlemagne vibes.

I’m fully obsessed with him. I GOT NO REGERTZ.

Mar 072023

I’m starting a live blog just in case things heat up but so far, it’s just us in the car listening to WDVE and eating a pathetic Sheetz breakfast. (Mandarin orange slices in a cup and unbuttered toasted croissant for me; some gross meat stick and a cookie for Henry. Mm.)

It’s 10:13 and we’re in Erie, only Erie ugh. There is snow everywhere up here and I’m not used to it!! We had been having such mild weather in Pgh!

You haven’t missed anything aside from us having a heated argument over why I get emails for other Erin Kellys- I’m telling you, it has something to do with the dots in gmail addresses but Henry keeps saying it’s an issue with all the places that are sending emails to other Erin Kellys, for instance, one of them recently signed up with Duolingo and I kept getting her PRACTICE YOUR IRISH reminders so I UNSUBSCRIBED her and Henry blamed Duolingo.

I actually got annoyed that I snapped, “I AM ENDING THIS CONVERSATION NOW BC YOURE GOING TO MAKE ME BREAK SOMETHING” and bitch, it’d likely be his glasses.

10:46am: Literally if I didn’t start conversations we would just drive in silence forever. The only time Henry ever talks out of turn is to say something stupid like, “look at the plane” and I’m not going to look. I’m just not.

Now we’re arguing about the border already and we’re still like 60 miles from it. I said that he’s going to get all nervous and stammer like he does every time when they ask us what brings us to Canada (NEVER FORGET WHEN WE GOT SEARCHED BC HE WAS BEING SO SHIFTY) and he said, “IM SORRY BUT I WOULD PREFER TO BE IN CHARGE WHEN IT COMES TO TALKING TO AUTHORITIES BECAUSE GOD FORBID YOU SNAP OUT AND LAND US IN JAIL.”

Wow. Actually I did have a scenario play out while I was washing my hands in the GetGo bathroom back in Erie where the border person asks us why we’re going to Canada and Henry says “UH UM C-C-Concert” and when they ask who we’re seeing and Henry wipes the words “Kang Daniel” from his lips along with all of his panic perspiration, they go, “oh is that one of the members of BTS?” and I get out of the car and flip it over in rage.

That’s the scenario.

11:04am Ugh I just opened the Ticketmaster app to double check the start time for tonight and SAW THAT NCT DREAM TICKETS ARE GOING ON SALE THIS FRIDAY and now my nerves are sizzling. Please pray for me on Friday.

11:26am: pee stop at what used to be my fave rest area in NY but now everything but the convenience store is closed??!!

Struggled with the sink as per yuje.

11:55am: here we go!

Henry did it! That took less than 4 minutes total! We had a nice lady who asked us rapid fire questions, which Henry answered with hesitation yet somehow she felt that he wasn’t hiding explosives up his asshole so she said ENJOY and now here we are in Canada, eh.

1:07pm: at Odd Burger!! We chose the location in HAMILTON because I knew I couldn’t make it to Toronto without lunch.

ok what a great experience!! First of all the Odd Burger guy walked me through the whole menu when I excitedly blurted out ITS MY FIRST TIME HERE which wasn’t necessary but a nice touch! I made Henry add a tip because of that and he grumbled but did as I said.

Anyway, I made Henry order the Famous Burger because it’s what I really wanted but knew it would be too much. It’s supposed to be a vegan take on the Big Mac and I would say that they succeeded. That shit was GOOD and actually made me realize that I must miss McDonald’s on some subconscious level.

I ordered the Chikun Cordon Bleu because I can’t say no to fake chicken sandwiches.

It was like a 1/3 of the size of Henry’s burger but just right for me. The chicken was so crispy!! I really liked it a lot.

We also split an order of the wingalings with Korean sesame sauce and those were a delight (also the odd burger guy’s favorite menu item – he told me so while Henry was in the bathroom; we really had such a great, deep convo).

Ugh I wish Pgh had anything like this. Pgh sucks.

We’re back on the road and Henry just said that he liked the wings. “The sauce was good too.”

“IT’S MADE IN HOUSE,” I screamed and Henry said, “Yes you told me that like three times already.”

Sorry. That was my big takeaway from the personalized tour I got of the menu.

2:58pm: at hotel. Should I wear this to Kang Daniel?? It’s very cold out and this is cozy. I’m leaving toward YEA vs NAY.

4:45pm: fought for an hour, parked near the venue, took a subway, and now we’re on a streetcar. Henry is on my last nerve.

6:12pm: we’re at Fresh having apps before Kang Daniel because everything else was an epic disaster (fine, hyperbole) but nothing worked out so we came back to where we started (LONG STORY SHORT) and Henry is still annoying but at least Fresh is nice. Gonna post this now because it’s almost time to get in line for Kang Daniel who will undoubtedly save this dreadful evening.

Mar 062023

Now that Henry doesn’t have any pressing home projects to finish (well, except for the Seoul subway sign which he is finally able to resume work on now that the attic is done!), and the weather was so nice, we spent a leisurely afternoon out of the house (Chooch didn’t come with us because of the whole “Can’t Walk” thing but truth be told, he likely wouldn’t have come with us anyway because of the whole “Teenage Boy” thing).

Originally, we were just going to go for a walk at the cem, but then I wanted to go to Sugarspell Scoops even though we didn’t partake in the pint preorder, because they were doing a limited run of a special flavor paired with a Limousine Beach flexi disc and I wanted it. I wanted it bigly.

On the way to the cem though, I screamed, “WHAT IS THAT” as we drove past a storefront called VENDOR BENDOR and I caught a glimpse of the writing underneath that spelled out something about INTERNATIONAL SNACKS IN VENDING MACHINES. Henry made a quick turn and found a parking spot right next to it because we are not the types of people to pass up the opportunity to splurge on int’l snacks.

We spent entirely too long there and then only got 5 things lol.

I’m pretty well-versed when it comes to Asian snacks, but I have to admit that I’m not very knowledgeable about IRISH treats, but I have heard of Tayto because it’s also the name of an Irish amusement park! (Well, it was up until 2022 and then the sponsorship ran out so now it will be renamed, which means the POTATO MAN MASCOT will probably also be retired and now I’m sad that I didn’t make it there in time to experience this.)

Anyway, all of this is to say that we got the cheese & onions Taytos and I am a fan, sign me up for the club, here are my dues.

Um, those Big Foots are also straight up magic. The Korean sweet potato treats were delicious as expected but the UK Monster Munch thing was not that good.

Then it was cemetery time!

Henry was being annoying.

I was so excited because after years and years and years of the mausoleum being locked to the public, it was open! We were walking by and I noticed that for the first time in years, there wasn’t a sign on the door instructing people to go to the office for visitation access so we tentatively tried the door and BAM, ACCESS. I got to pee inside the mausoleum like old times!!


Then Henry took this dumb picture of me.

Last stop: Sugarspell! I didn’t get anything to eat right then because I knew I’d get a stomachache, but we got a sundae for Chooch (actually it was a banana split-type thing and in his text to Henry, he said, “Make sure they give me a banana” because one time Henry got a sundae there that was supposed to have a banana and Amanda (we’re on a first name basis with the owner, *blows on nails*) forgot to put the banana in it and then realized it later and was like OMG and I was like “who cares, it’s just Henry” and she was like NO I HAVE TO MAKE THIS RIGHT so the next time Henry went in, she gave him a random banana and now it’s like a thing and I thought that Chooch was just being CHEEKY (lol I have never used that word IRL before, only just when I do Austin Powers cosplay in your nightmares) but when we came home, he said, “No. I was being serious. I didn’t want them to forget my banana.”

Wow. OK. Calm down. We have bananas in the kitchen if needed. Sugarspell Standby Bananas.

Um anyway, how cool is this collaboration. I love them so much, everything they do is so brilliant and cool! AND THIS FLAVOR IS RUBY CHOCOLATE. 


Came home and played with my cats and squirrels. That was Sunday. Today is Monday. But nothing happened today except work stuff.

I’m going to sign off now because tomorrow Henry and I are going to Toronto for the Kang Daniel concert and I still have no idea what I’m wearing but apparently it needs to be warm AF because it’s still Actual Winter in Toronto. I was really starting to get used to not wearing a coat, too. Well, hopefully my next couple of blog posts will be more interesting.